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  1. The Rainbow Magazine (Radio Shack Color Computer) (January 1989)
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The Rainbow Magazine (Radio Shack Color Computer) (December 1985)
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142 itemsWelcome to The Rainbow (TRS-80 Color Computer Magazine)

The Rainbow was a monthly magazine for the TRS-80 Color Computer by the Tandy Corporation (now RadioShack). It was started by the late Lawrence C. Falk (commonly known as Lonnie Falk) and was published from July 1981 to May 1993 by Falk's company, Falsoft, which was based in Prospect, Kentucky.

The first issue of the magazine was a double-sided single sheet printed on a Radio Shack printer. Falk photocopied 25 of the debut issue, and sold them for $1.00. After the first batch sold out, he made ten more copies. The magazine's "...articles, comments, tips, and program listings..." were good enough to attract advertisements from The Micro Works and JARB Software by the release of the third issue. JARB Software (and Joe Bennett in particular) became a contributor of many software and hardware articles in early issues of The Rainbow. Beginning with the first anniversary issue, the magazine was professionally typeset and had full color covers. The December 1982 issue was the first to use perfect binding.

The magazine featured articles, columns, reviews, tutorials, letters from readers, and advertisements. Many articles presented BASIC or assembly language program listings. Readers had to type these programs in by hand, unless they ordered a cassette or diskette containing these programs, through the Rainbow on Tape or Rainbow on Disk service. The BASIC programs were printed in a fixed font with 32 characters per line so that they would show up just as they did on the CoCo's standard 32×16 text screen.

The magazine provided a small program called Rainbow Check Plus which helped users type in the listings accurately. The program would count the number and values of characters which the user typed in. A small box accompanying a program listing would serve as a checksum system. It was a two-column table that specified what checksum value was expected for a few chosen lines in the program. For example, after line 140, the checksum was expected to be 149, then after line 290, it was expected to be 21, etc. This system required the user to type the listing exactly as it appeared, including all spaces and possible typographical errors. Some users preferred to edit and improve the program as they typed it, at the risk of making hard-to-find mistakes.

The publication's style was informal. It was mostly geared towards beginners and hobbyists. Articles were often accompanied by colorful illustrations, and so was each month's cover. There was also a comic strip whose main character was called the CoCo Cat. Lonnie Falk wrote a monthly editorial titled PRINT#-2,(with a comma at the end of the title, because it was part of the syntax of the CoCo BASIC's PRINT command when targeting the printer).

In 1983, The Rainbow started a series of CoCo conventions under the name Rainbowfest. The magazine had a department called the Rainbow Scorecard which registered high scores achieved by readers playing CoCo video games.

Each issue of the magazine had a theme that was typically associated with the calendar month. The December issue was the Holiday issue, while the January issue was the Beginners issue and was meant as an introduction to the CoCo world for readers who had received a Color Computer for Christmas. August was the Games issue, September was Education, November was Telecommunications, and July was the Anniversary issue.

Lonnie Falk was elected mayor of Prospect in November 1993 and was continued in office until his death on June 9, 2006 at age 63.

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